Skip to comments.Ron Paul Has Won
Posted on 11/26/2007 1:54:54 PM PST by rob777
He wont win the nomination. He wont win any primaries. But for Ron Pauls quixotic bid for the White House, its Mission Accomplished.
In the past few months, Ron Paul has dramatically raised the profile of libertarianism inside the Republican Party. My small-l libertarian friends seem more comfortable describing themselves as such, even though theyll go out of their way to disassociate themselves from Ron Paul and the big-L kind.
Libertarianism in the GOP took a big hit on 9/11, and its slowly coming back, with Ron Paul as the catalyst. Its underlying ideals still have appeal well beyond the cramped confines of the LP. If its possible to be known as a pro-life, pro-war, pro-wiretapping libertarian, then sign me up. Markos too brands himself a libertarian Democrat, though hes never read Hayek and supports big government social programs.
Some campaigns can win big without ever coming close to winning an actual contest. Pat Robertsons 1988 campaign signaled that Christian Conservatives had arrived in the GOP. Ron Paul is doing the same for libertarians. This is not a counterweight to the religious right per se, since Paul is identified as pro-life, but it does potentially open up a new army of activists on the right not primarily motivated by social/moral issues.
Not every losing single-issue candidate succeeds like this. Immigration-restrictionists still lack an outlet in the GOP, thanks to Tom Tancredos embarrassing tone-deafness as a candidate. Sam Brownbacks campaign had hoped to galvanize single-issue pro-lifers, but was hobbled by his dry persona. Duncan Hunter looks mostly like a campaign for Secretary of Defense.
Assuming Paul loses, where does small-l libertarianism go from here? His movement already did the smart thing by making peace with social conservatism. Libertarianism is no longer aligned with libertine stances on abortion and gay rights.
To become the ascendant ideology within the GOP, I suspect theyll have to find a way to do the same thing on national security. The war on terror writ large is the one big thing social and economic conservatives agree on, and Ron Paul is vocally aligned against both.
Mainstream Republican libertarians might be gung-ho for Pauls small-government idealism, they might adopt Glenn Reynoldsish skepticism of the homeland security bureaucracy, and even John McCain has lately made a thing of ripping the military-industrial complex, but there is no way I repeat NO WAY they will embrace Ron Paul if he continues to blame America for 9/11 and imply that America is acting illegally in defending itself around the globe. Even if they arent the biggest fans of the war, most people that are available for Ron Paul on the right are by temperament patriotic and will never vote for someone who sounds like Noam Chomsky.
As someone who routinely called myself a libertarian prior to 9/11, heres how I would square the circle: Absolute freedom within our borders, for our own citizens; eternal vigilance and (when necessary) ruthlessness abroad. For libertarian ideals to survive, they must be relentlessly defended against the likes of Islamic extremists. Take a look at Andrew Sullivans writing right after 9/11 to see this ideal in its purest form; far from a religious crusade, ours was a war for secularism, tolerance, and free societies where gays dont get stoned to death.
The key principle is one of reciprocity. If you behave peacefully and embrace the norms of a libertarian society, we leave you alone. If you seek to destroy a free society, we will destroy you.
If theyre serious about defending their ideals and seeing to it that libertarianism survives more than a generation in actual practice, I dont see any reason why libertarians couldnt embrace a more conservative positioning on national security.
Yes, but it's not a positive image.
I wish your analysis were correct and Ron Paul would draw attention to libertarian principles but his attention has been mainly fueled by his anti-war message. Far more Democrats than libertarians are coming to his support.
I think he has raised the profile. I’m not sure he has raised it in a positive direction.
Yeah, but that profile isn't complimentary. His campaign has done more damage to libertarianism than anything else by connecting it with surrendering in the WOT and appeasement of Islamists rather than what that political movement should be known for -- limited gov't advocacy.
n. 1. a person who believes in the doctrine of the freedom of the will
2. a person who believes in full individual freedom of thought, expression and action
3. a freewheeling rebel who hates wiretaps, loves Ron Paul and is redirecting politics
Libertarians are for the Freedom of all but the Ragheads in faraway places with hard to pronounce names
Destroy? The only Defense the Liberatarian uses is an all-out frontal assault with HOT AIR weaponry.
It’s of interest to me as well. The problem as I see it is this. Those that agree with Paul’s decent views stand a very good chance of being blackballed as simply another fellow traveler of Paul.
Paul presidential campaign has done nothing for true conservatives as far as I am concerned. No, instead he has given the press grounds to dismiss those that support smaller government, less taxation and on and on...
His negatives are in the mid-50s among likely voters in Iowa - the more Paul is known, the more he is disliked by his own base.
I think the one thing that Ron Paul running will guarantee is a Democratic victory. Much like Ralph Nadar’s running guaranteed Bush’s election by drawing off votes from then vice-president Al whats his name.
(gad) As long as I don’t have to see the “VOTE RON PAUL” threads any more. Da freak.
Didja read the article?
It starts out observing that Ron Paul will not be the Republican nominee - so don’t go into how bad it would be if he is.
The point of the article is that he’s getting rousing the libertarian subset of the Republican party - and that it’s a force to be reconed with.
Ron Paul won’t be the nominee. We know that. Nobody seriously contends he will.
HOWEVER, he’s making it clear that there’s a whole lotta Republicans that agree with him on a lot of issues, and while he won’t “win” by being the nominee (much less POTUS), he has already “won” by garnering lots of support and not being easily dismissed.
There’s a lot of us who, while perhaps put off by some of his comments, agree with him on a LOT of points which other contenders are missing.
Don’t underestimate the influence of the libertarian branch of the Republican party; a successful candidate won’t.
But, why post this article here?
We were defending ourselves in Bosnia? We were defending ourselves in Somalia? Are we defending ourselves in Djibouti, Ghana? Or in the Philipines, Kyrgyzstan, Paraguay, Uganda, Denmark, Cyprus, Germany, Honduras, and Spain?
Ron Paul is rousing the moonbat subset of the Republican party. True constitutionalist as well as true conservatives think his stances are bunk. Republicans fund him in the hopes he runs as a 3rd party candidate and in doing so pulls votes from the Democrats- not because his message “resonates.” He’s given libertarianism a black-eye.
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